Creating Impact with Social Enterprise

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” ― Pericles

How do you create a business that benefits all the stakeholders instead of just the shareholders?

What I have come to appreciate most about building a social enterprise with indigenous elders is witnessing cultural integrity coupled with a growing sense of business acumen. It is immensely rewarding to be a part of the aboriginal people's economy and to help create the environment and resources for these remote communities to prosper. We are helping to build a restoration economy.

When we are doing our work out on-country, our first consideration is the sacred values held by the indigenous people - these speak to the obligations we have to deeply care for people and country. As a business, we organize our systems, IT resources, investments and the staffing of our enterprise to ensure we are operating with an intergenerational lens, or operating in a way where we are spanning generational horizons.

There is a clear awareness on the lands that there is connectivity between events, time, behaviors, people, families, values and actions. There is also a space that we operate from which starts in the spiritual realm, cosmological realm, thoughts, and philosophies, and then it translates into immutable principles and cultural values that shape the way we look at the world, how we behave, our practices, including our rituals and rules of business engagement.

The bush foods and essential oils operation has started to shift the thinking of the entire community away from intergenerational servitude to a model that enables people to be self-determining. We talk about we and us, and not me and mine, and we are always focused on what the collective good looks like.

What has become clear to me is that humanity will need to transform the way business operates if we are going to survive…